Can LE remove all occupants of the car prior to conducting a free air sniff around the vehicle?

Yes. At a traffic stop, LE has the right to remove all occupants of a vehicle, whether driver or passenger. The law is clear that upon making a lawful traffic stop, the driver may be ordered out of the vehicle without the need for the officer to justify why. Pennsylvania v. Mimms (1977) 434 U.S. 106, 111; People v. Evans (2011) 200 Cal.App.4th 735, 743. Although previously the law was split on this issue, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the same rules apply to passengers as well as the driver. If anything, the need to protect the safety of the officers is even greater when he must deal with more than just a lone driver. Maryland v. Wilson (1997) 519 U.S. 408; see also Ruvalcaba v. City of Los Angeles (9th Cir. 1995) 64 F.3rd 1323. Citing Mimms and Wilson, the California Supreme Court has cited with approval “an officer’s authority to order a passenger to exit a vehicle during a traffic stop as a matter of course.” People v. Saunders (2006) 38 Cal.4th 1129, 1134. The California Supreme Court has further held that it is also lawful to continue to detain the passenger for “at least as long as reasonably necessary for the officer to complete the activity the (lawful ordering out of the car) contemplates.” People v. Hoyos (2007) 41 Cal.4th 872, 892-893.